Power to France’s elbow
= “la France comme « bras de defense » de l’Europe” =
More than a full year after publishing a few notes on the Ukrainian questions (note 1 ) it may be a good time to come briefly back to the topic. The French proposal alluded to in the title (here above) may offer a good occasion.
What we saw in the past twelve and more months was an abdication of European leaders to American pressure, type “neocon”, pressing for the expansion of NATO’s till even Russian borders, notwithstanding clear promises of the ‘90’s to leave the eastern European countries outside Nato’s reach.
But it was not only American pressure. Many European politicians have in the past year with gusto joined in the meddling in Ukrainian affairs.
Did that meddling serve any common European interest? By no means.
Whenever there is a possibility, we should always keep in mind to have a long-term productive relationship with Russia. On “Voices of Europe” we do not join the pursuit of a formal union reaching eastwards to the Ural mountains or even to Wladiwostok (an idea advocated by past French leaders) but should seek decent development of relations with the Russian Federation as also our current friends in Paris (Ivan Blot, “Polemia” and other groups) advocate.
Solzhenitsyn showed us some good reasons, and since then, even under Putin’s governance, the Russian Federation shows a certain commitment to traditional and ethical virtues of which we in Europe often need to be reminded. (note 2 )
Undue European meddling may also have contributed in pushing Russia towards China. Is that bad ? Any exclusive bond between Russia and China would not be in our European interest. But some greater proximity between Russia and China may be helpful to bring the world’s Eurasian “Heartland” closer together. That new relationship wouild gain value if it were inclusive of Europe. We in Europe cannot cut ourselves from Russia’s heritage, nor should Russia’s heritage be seen as extraneous to Europe.
What then brings us today to coming back to the topic of Ukraine? The president of France, before leaving Paris to go with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on a mission to Kiev and Moscow made an interesting suggestion (note 3) In a press conference before his departure from Paris Francois Hollande said that France ought to be seen and should be assisted by other European nations as a proper “defensive arm for Europe”, which could serve the cause of peace in Eastern Europe connection.
We have pleaded earlier in another connection, namely with respect to Africa, for more support to France in its very good action in North Africa (operation “SERVAL” and others) trying to keep centers of islamic aggression separated from each other around the Sahara region, so that the small nations there may have a chance to survive in freedom.
Bernard Lugan (note 4 ) has shown the benefits of France’s action which was the more welcome after its earlier disastrous moves against Khaddafi, leading to his brutal death, and to the breakup of Libya.
Lybia was and remains important for Europe as a kind of “Lampedusa” , namely a “Lampedusa” situated not in Europe but in Africa which could offer refuge, growth and labor opportunities for people coming s from other parts of Africa and even from the Near East. (note )
The idea now injected by President Francois Hollande that the defense capacities of France should get a closer evaluation from other European countries, and particularly from Germany is shared by many Europeans.
Monsieur Hollande for this moment refrains still from expressing himself on the question how an increased European for a French military role support would be construed, with or without linkages to the European Union or to NATO. An answer to such questions may not be needed immediately. Both organizations, NATO and the EU have by their conduct in Ukraine to some extent forfeited their right to speak, but they should soon come back if they can formulate useful proposals acceptable to the congregation of European sovereign nations.
At this moment it would be more fit for national leaders in the whole of Europe (which includes Russia) to speak out for giving France more recognition and support, be they members of the European union or not. France has right now the best capabilities and geographic reach to undertake important tasks but it will soon need the help of other European nations including those not member of the EU or of NATO. Russia, for one, is in the latter category.
With a smile we might add: “How is that for an “encore !”, addressed as a thank-you note to the French President for launching a useful idea? Support from all European countries, including Russia, for France in its military tasks in Africa and in eastern Europe might, after a disturbing year, help us in many fields, including getting us out of the Ukrainian rut.
Paris- Beijing 11 febr 2015